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Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

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    Ladies, put down the wax, the thread, the razor, or whatever godforsaken way you remove upper lip hair.

    Most of us try to hide our peach fuzz by dyeing it blonde or getting rid of it altogeher, but razor brand Billie wants us to put a halt to that and take part in Movember.

    Each November men ditch shaving and Billie wants women to join them.

    The brand hopes to be the first female-first company to start raising money for Movember.

    The global charity challenges men to grow a moustache to raise money and bring awareness to prostate cancer.

    The Team Billie Movember campaign hopes to do the same by encouraging women to grow out their moustaches and to donate to the cause.

    So, are you willing to grow out your facial hair?

    Woman with a mustache
    Billie created a video showing women owning their ‘tache (Picture: Billie)

    Hoping to put their money where the mouth is, Billie is also vowing to match donations made.

    The Billie website says: ‘Newsflash: women have moustaches. We’ve been trained to hide them – wax them, bleach them, shave them – but that doesn’t make them any less real.

    ‘Fuzzy and faint or dark and dazzling, they’re there. So this Movember, we’re growing out our (formerly) top-secret upper lip hair.

    ‘We’re a brand built for womankind. But we’re thrilled to support the men in our lives – we’re matching 100% of contributions made to our team, up to $50,000.’

    The company understands that not everyone will want to get involved.

    It added: ‘We support all of Womankind — shaggy, smooth, or anything in-between.’

    Billie has also shared a video on its Instagram showing off all kinds of women embracing their natural facial hair.

    Followers are loving it. One person wrote: ‘Incredible message, incredible cause!’ while another said: ‘This is fantastic’.

    Even the Movember Instagram account got involved saying: ‘We love our Mo Sisters’.

    And hey if you want to get involved but don’t want to grow a moustache, you could always let other bodily hairs grow out.

    MORE: Bearded lady uses facial hair to her advantage as she fights back at death threats: ‘It’s my star feature’

    MORE: Billie’s body hair razor advert isn’t contradictory – it’s a reminder women have a choice

    MORE: Razor company creates powerful campaign showing women with pubic hair


    Razor company wants women to grow mustache for MovemberRazor company wants women to grow mustache for Movember

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    Woman with fake bump in leopard dress
    She really tried it (Picture: Rebecca Andrews)

    We all know how much of a ballache it is trying to keep your luggage under a certain limit.

    One woman flying on a Jetstar plane didn’t want to pay the fees for going over her 1kg carry on allowance. So she made the natural conclusion to get pregnant and avoid the $60 fee.

    Instead of wearing all the layers and the heaviest pair of shoes like most of us, travel writer Rebecca Andrews decided to create a baby bump.

    Trying to pull a fast one over the staff, Rebecca stuffed some clothes into her ‘bump’ and even fitted a laptop on her back while travelling through a Sydney airport.

    Hilariously enough, her preparation for the heist was interrupted by an actual pregnant mum who wanted to chat about babies.

    She hurriedly told the woman she was five months along and was on her way out to the gate.

    But that’s when trouble ensued. Rebecca unwittingly drew attention to herself (probably the guilt).

    As the last person to board the plane, all eyes were on her. And the loud noise she made didn’t help.

    Soon she was stopped and had to ‘fess up. It hasn’t put her off from trying it again though.

    Woman stuffing laptop into her outfit
    Rebecca wrote a bunch of tips to trick airport staff (Picture: Rebecca Andrews)

    Providing guidelines on how to dupe airport staff, she wrote on travel site Escape: ‘Once all my layers were arranged, I came out of the baby-room at Gate 53 in Sydney Airport, to find a mum changing her kid’s nappy.

    ‘“How far along are you?” she asked me looking at my tummy.

    ‘“Three kilos, give or take,” I said, rolling my much lighter case behind me, “Er, I mean five months.”

    ‘I walked very erectly (TIP: you have to keep your shoulders back, you’ll find out why in a second) to the gate, and found I was the LAST person to board my flight which was my ONLY mistake — the staff were all paying me attention.’

    At that point, staff checked the weight of her carry-on and gave her the go-ahead. Rebecca was almost home free.

    ‘But as I walked my fake-pregnant ass down the gangway, I dropped my ticket and made a noise,’ she added. ‘So they all looked at me again.

    ‘As I bent over to pick up the ticket, the shape of my laptop down my back suddenly became apparent.

    ‘“Excuse me! Is that a backpack you have on under your jacket?”’ they asked her, which she denied.

    She then admitted the whole ruse, saying: ‘I should have told her I had on a back brace but … hindsight, hey? I freaked out and blabbed on myself’.

    And thus the jig was up and Rebecca had to cough up the $60.

    A spokesperson, while entertained by Rebecca’s antics, then issued a statement saying: ‘While we appreciate the creativity, our team [is] pretty wise to all the tricks, and most of our customers find it more comfortable to pay a little bit more for an extra 3 kilos [nearly 7 pounds] of carry-on.’

    Probably won’t stop Rebecca though.

    MORE: Mum reveals simple hack for helping toddlers sleep on longhaul flights

    MORE: Cat lover spends thousands and travels miles to keep a rare breed alive

    MORE: Mum hits back at critics who call her gender neutral parenting ‘disgusting’


    Woman pretends to be pregnant to avoid paying luggage feesWoman pretends to be pregnant to avoid paying luggage fees

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    Irene in a chair
    Reeny just turned 107 (Picture: Scarborough News / SWNS)

    A 107-year-old woman has revealed the secret to her long life: staying single.

    Irene Green says she never got married because nobody ever asked her, but believes that has actually helped her live a long, happy life without ‘too many worries’.

    Irene, known as Reeny, celebrated her 107th birthday yesterday with a cream tea and a party at the care home where she lives – and received a card from the Queen.

    She was also treated to a new outfit and new perfume as staff helped her glam up for the party, which she described as one of the best days of her life and saw more than a dozen visitors help her celebrate.

    Reeny said: ‘The answer to a long life is being happy, not being married, not having too many worries, good food and a good upbringing.

    ‘I had some very good friends all my life.

    ‘The party was one of the best days of my life.’

    As well as never being married, Reeny credits her ‘long, happy and fulfilled’ life to a good upbringing, good food, exercise and fresh air.

    She was an avid hiker in her younger days and enjoyed canoeing, visiting dance halls and ‘getting up to mischief’.

    While she now prefers a quieter life and enjoys naps and sitting in the garden, she still likes to have her hair and makeup done – and wore a new dress for the big occasion.

    Reeny added: ‘When I was younger I liked getting into mischief, like most young people do.

    ‘I liked going dancing at the Spa and the Olympia and I loved swimming and playing tennis.’

    Staff at Dulverton House care home in the coastal resort helped her celebrate her special day with a tea party and treated Reeny to a new outfit so that she was able to get herself glammed up.

    Irene owes her long life to staying single
    She owes her long life to staying single (Picture: Scarborough News / SWNS)

    Many of her visitors were children of her lifelong friends, who now class Reeny as a friend themselves.

    Angela Webster, manager at the home, said: ‘The party was fantastic, it was a brilliant day.

    ‘Reeny looked fabulous. She wanted a new party outfit and loves jewellery and a spritz of perfume.

    ‘She’s very happy and likes to be glam and pampered.

    ‘She had visitors all day and it really brought her to life.

    ‘She knew everyone’s name and remembered their parents and she loved seeing them all.

    ‘She was amazing, she was a proper party host and she was really happy.

    ‘One of Reeny’s greatest enjoyments is her lifelong friendships.

    ‘A lot of her friends’ children have become her friends over the years.

    ‘She has such a fantastic positive outlook on life, even now. She just loves life and she is a very happy person.

    ‘The other residents in the care home love her, they think she is amazing.’

    MORE: Husband shares heartbreaking pictures to show how dementia ‘erased’ his wife

    MORE: Shiba Inu burned in house fire training to be therapy dog for human burn victims


    PRI_94109662PRI_94109662

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    Vegetarian of 30 years becomes butcher after eating beef burger. Tammi Jonas.
    Tammi now tries to farm ethically

    According to a 2014 study, 86% of people who become vegetarians return to meat at some point or another.

    There’s quite a big difference between having the occasional chicken nugget, though, and ending up breaking your decade of vegetarianism to become a butcher.

    Tammi Jonas previously abstained from meat for over 10 years, having first decided to do so after reading Peter Singer’s work, Animal Liberation, aged 19.

    The Australian told her local Victoria news station, ‘He detailed the treatment of pigs and poultry in sheds in a way that I just couldn’t, in good conscience, keep eating meat.

    ‘My immediate response was – I don’t want to participate in treating animals that way and the only way I know how to do that is to stop eating meat.’

    Many years of vegetarianism followed, with two children being born along the way.

    When Tammi was pregnant with her third child, however, she became extremely anaemic, and found that no amount of supplements or veggie diet changes were helping.

    ‘I was at work one day and just thought: “a burger would fix this”,’ she said.

    Vegetarian of 30 years becomes butcher after eating beef burger. Tammi Jonas.
    Philosopher Peter Singer initially introduced her to a meat-free life.

    That one burger would turn out to be a major turning point for Tammi, with her going on to reintroduce beef and lamb to her diet, and eventually pork and poultry too.

    It’s not just her eating habits that have changed, however. Her life has done a complete u-turn, as she has since become a pig farmer and butcher.

    ‘I never thought it was immoral to take an animal’s life for food – I’ve always been comfortable with my place in the food chain,’ explains Tammi.

    ‘But I thought it was immoral to treat [animals] cruelly, to not allow them to go outside and breathe fresh air and to be confined in crowds in sheds.’

    She also loved working outdoors, after her upbringing – in Oregon in the US – gave her a taste of the farm life, and showed her how to raise livestock.

    Vegetarian of 30 years becomes butcher after eating beef burger. Tammi Jonas.
    One of Tammi’s sausages

    It was the merging of these two things that prompted Tammi’s idea to start a pig farm that treated animals fairly.

    Tammi and her husband Stuart moved to a spot of land in Victoria’s Central Highlands, setting up their new life, and their business, Jonai Farms.

    Stuart was put in charge of the farm’s infrastructure, and Tammi learnt how to butcher the animals from scratch.

    Vegetarian of 30 years becomes butcher after eating beef burger. Tammi Jonas.
    Reducing the animal’s stress is key for Tammi.

    She doesn’t slaughter the animals herself, instead opting to send the pigs to an abattoir off-site. She does feel a pang of guilt for this.

    ‘I think they find all of that stressful and we’d like to take that part of the stress out of our system and be able to walk them to a death they didn’t know was coming,’ the 49-year-old said.

    ‘I feel the most justified in eating the meat when I know they had no fear, no pain, they were just alive and then they were dead.’

    What Tammi doesn’t feel guilty for, though, is going back to meat.

    ‘I am trying to help people who are choosing [vegetarianism] while also still trying to figure out what is the best way to eat on a finite planet,’ she said.

    ‘Hats off to you if you don’t want to participate in any livestock production but try not to have too hard a go at those of us who are trying to restore landscapes with livestock and doing a much better job of it than your vegan impossible burger.’

    That burger must have been pretty great to change a life, and it appears that Tammi is now more than content with her ‘ethically meaty’ lifestyle.

    MORE: Woman pretends to be pregnant to avoid paying excess baggage fees

    MORE: Husband shares heartbreaking pictures to show how dementia ‘erased’ his wife


    Vegetarian of 30 years becomes butcher after eating beef burgerVegetarian of 30 years becomes butcher after eating beef burger

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    A funny video shows the hilarious moment a cat sniffed her owner’s feet, before immediately regretting it.

    Rose the cat was caught sniffing her owner Hannah’s feet, before looking as though she seriously regretted it with an experession of shock and disgust.

    Hannah recorded the video at her home in Gorton, Manchester.

    She said: ‘In the video, Rose gets a little too comfortable smelling my feet and obviously she had quite a reaction to the smell”

    ‘The expression on her face says it all and I could not help but laugh my head off. It made me happy to see that she has such a personality.’

    Rose the cat
    Rose didn’t look very happy (Picture: SWNS)

    You might have seen your own cat making that expression before – but it doesn’t actually always mean they’ve smelt something bad, it could just be that the scent is rather interesting and they’re just taking it in.

    When you spot your cat with its mouth partially open and upper lip pulled back, in which they look disgusted, after smelling something, it’s actually called the ‘Flehmen response’.

    According to PedMeds, your cat has something called a Jacobson’s organ, which is located in the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth.

    When your cat smells something interesting, that strange face they make is actually the cat drawing the scent into the Jacobson’s organ to get a better smell.

    The tongue traps the scent and transfers it to the vomeronasal organ in the roof of the mouth for better analysis.

    So, while it may look like your cat is super disgusted (and you never know, after smelling feet they might be), don’t always take offence, because it’s just your cat taking in a rather interesting smell.

    MORE: 107-year-old woman says the secret to a long life is staying single

    MORE: Care home welcomes naked male model after residents request a nude drawing class


    GET YOUR FEET AWAY FROM ME RIGHT MEOW! - This is the hilarious moment cat reacts to her owners stinky feet.GET YOUR FEET AWAY FROM ME RIGHT MEOW! - This is the hilarious moment cat reacts to her owners stinky feet.

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    The monster house
    The house looks amazing (Picture: Kelsey Calise / SWNS)

    Two newlyweds were so excited for Halloween they dressed up their first home as a monster to scare trick or treaters.

    Kelsey and Jesse Calise decided to do something ‘spooky and special’ after they bought their first home as a married couple.

    Artist Kelsey, 31, was inspired to make an original design, sketching out a cartoonish set of monster teeth.

    She and builder husband Jesse, 37, set to work after finding spare plywood at work, and spent seven hours one weekend making the teeth.

    Kelsey coloured in the teeth and gums using interior house paint – and sat back as Jesse screwed the designs into the balcony.

    She said that she was ‘excited to get trick or treaters’ for the first time.

    The monster house
    Doesn’t it look cool? (Picture: Kelsey Calise / SWNS)

    Kelsey added: ‘We may have dropped a couple onto the front garden and crushed some plants – but hey, that’s the price you pay when you want a monster house!

    ‘It was also a really great way to meet some of our new neighbours who stopped to watch as we set up the gnarly monster teeth.

    ‘One woman cheered from her window – “you gotta enjoy your life!”

    ‘Now we’re just so excited to get trick or treaters! In all the years we’ve lived in apartments, we’ve never had a single kid come to the door.

    ‘This year will surely be different, and we just can’t wait.’

    The happy couple
    The couple are newlyweds (Picture: Kelsey Calise / SWNS)

    Kelsey married Jesse in October 2018, and moved into their lovely new home in Baltimore, Maryland last May.

    Having always loved Halloween, Kelsey wanted to set up a monster house to attract trick or treaters and meet the neighbours.

    Though Jesse is less keen on the spooky season, Kelsey said ‘he loves me, and I love Halloween – so that counts for something’.

    She added: ‘He definitely had a blast working on these decorations!’

    The teeth for the house
    The teeth used for the house (Picture: Kelsey Calise / SWNS)

    Kelsey’s already thinking ahead to next year, and wants to add a set of bulging eyes in the windows and a tongue down the front porch.

    She said: ‘I’m thinking of splurging and hooking up some speakers and getting some growling or heavy breathing audio clips.’

    Kelsey also revealed she’s planning for Christmas, adding: ‘I feel like I’ll need to step up for Christmas too, but not sure how yet.

    ‘My husband shot down my idea to leave the teeth up and just add a Santa hat.’

    ‘The possibilities are endless.’

    MORE: Cat instantly regrets sniffing owner’s feet

    MORE: 107-year-old woman says the secret to a long life is staying single


    PRI_94101278PRI_94101278

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    A newlywed couple opted to scrap tradition entirely on their wedding day by offering up a huge Domino's feast. See SWNS story SWPLpizza. The couple, Victoria and Tom Browne, from St Austell , scrapped any ideas of a more traditional wedding breakfast early on in planning, saying ?we just don?t do anything traditionally.? The couple had ?350 to spend on their wedding breakfast and so Victoria called up Dominos to ask what they would be able to get for that, and the answer was quite a lot. 26-year-old Victoria, who has three children with new husband Tom, said: ?Most people know me and Tom just don?t do anything originally. I didn?t want traditional sandwiches or anything at the wedding, I wanted something that stood out. ?We actually kept joking saying ?shall we have dominoes?? but as it got closer and we didn?t have any food plans we started seriously considering it and I emailed Dominos asking the question.?
    Victoria says she doesn’t want pizza for a while now (Picture: Charlotte Schooley / SWNS)

    If you’ve been to plenty of wedding this year, you’ve likely eaten a lot of the same meals.

    Chicken ballotine, braised steak, and of course – if you’re a vegetarian – plenty of mushroom risottos and tomato pasta dishes.

    While there’s nothing wrong meat and two veg, some couples like to differ from the traditional wedding catering blueprint – take Victoria and Tom Browne, for example.

    When they were planning their wedding, they initially looked at different catering options for their wedding breakfast.

    However, the date approached, and they were still procrastinating on the final option. So, they went with their hearts and opted to feed their guests a mammoth feast of Domino’s pizzas.

    Victoria, 26, said: ‘Most people know me and Tom just don’t do things traditionally.

    A newlywed couple opted to scrap tradition entirely on their wedding day by offering up a huge Domino's feast. See SWNS story SWPLpizza. The couple, Victoria and Tom Browne, from St Austell , scrapped any ideas of a more traditional wedding breakfast early on in planning, saying ?we just don?t do anything traditionally.? The couple had ?350 to spend on their wedding breakfast and so Victoria called up Dominos to ask what they would be able to get for that, and the answer was quite a lot. 26-year-old Victoria, who has three children with new husband Tom, said: ?Most people know me and Tom just don?t do anything originally. I didn?t want traditional sandwiches or anything at the wedding, I wanted something that stood out. ?We actually kept joking saying ?shall we have dominoes?? but as it got closer and we didn?t have any food plans we started seriously considering it and I emailed Dominos asking the question.?
    The guests were ‘shocked’ (Picture: Charlotte Schooley / SWNS)

    ‘I didn’t want traditional sandwiches or anything at the wedding, I wanted something that stood out.

    ‘We actually kept joking saying “shall we have Domino’s?” but as it got closer and we didn’t have any food plans we started seriously considering it and I emailed Domino’s asking the question.’

    Her local branch were more than happy to oblige, and after the ceremony staff delivered a total of 30 large pizzas, 20 garlic breads, 20 boxes of chicken strips and 20 boxes of wedges.

    A newlywed couple opted to scrap tradition entirely on their wedding day by offering up a huge Domino's feast. See SWNS story SWPLpizza. The couple, Victoria and Tom Browne, from St Austell , scrapped any ideas of a more traditional wedding breakfast early on in planning, saying ?we just don?t do anything traditionally.? The couple had ?350 to spend on their wedding breakfast and so Victoria called up Dominos to ask what they would be able to get for that, and the answer was quite a lot. 26-year-old Victoria, who has three children with new husband Tom, said: ?Most people know me and Tom just don?t do anything originally. I didn?t want traditional sandwiches or anything at the wedding, I wanted something that stood out. ?We actually kept joking saying ?shall we have dominoes?? but as it got closer and we didn?t have any food plans we started seriously considering it and I emailed Dominos asking the question.?
    What a feast (Picture: Charlotte Schooley / SWNS)

    The couple, of St Austell, Cornwall, are also big fans of the infamous Domino’s garlic dip, so had plenty of that on hand, too.

    The total for the whole thing was £350, which – given that other wedding breakfasts could run into the thousands – is quite the steal.

    They hadn’t actually told anyone their plans, however, so on the big day itself, Victoria and her 29-year-old husband said that staff came ‘strolling in and shocked everybody.’

    A newlywed couple opted to scrap tradition entirely on their wedding day by offering up a huge Domino's feast. See SWNS story SWPLpizza. The couple, Victoria and Tom Browne, from St Austell , scrapped any ideas of a more traditional wedding breakfast early on in planning, saying ?we just don?t do anything traditionally.? The couple had ?350 to spend on their wedding breakfast and so Victoria called up Dominos to ask what they would be able to get for that, and the answer was quite a lot. 26-year-old Victoria, who has three children with new husband Tom, said: ?Most people know me and Tom just don?t do anything originally. I didn?t want traditional sandwiches or anything at the wedding, I wanted something that stood out. ?We actually kept joking saying ?shall we have dominoes?? but as it got closer and we didn?t have any food plans we started seriously considering it and I emailed Dominos asking the question.?
    Some of the happy diners (Picture: Charlotte Schooley / SWNS)

    Victoria continued: ‘I was so paranoid about whether they were actually going to be able to do it that I went in the day before and said “are you are all aware of my order for tomorrow?”

    ‘They were pretty good. It all came in piping hot and the staff were quite happy to stand and have a photo with me.

    ‘People are still gobsmacked with it, people think that as a buffet you have to have like sandwiches and stuff and I don’t really like pasties and I’m not picking them because everyone else likes them.’

    A newlywed couple opted to scrap tradition entirely on their wedding day by offering up a huge Domino's feast. See SWNS story SWPLpizza. The couple, Victoria and Tom Browne, from St Austell , scrapped any ideas of a more traditional wedding breakfast early on in planning, saying ?we just don?t do anything traditionally.? The couple had ?350 to spend on their wedding breakfast and so Victoria called up Dominos to ask what they would be able to get for that, and the answer was quite a lot. 26-year-old Victoria, who has three children with new husband Tom, said: ?Most people know me and Tom just don?t do anything originally. I didn?t want traditional sandwiches or anything at the wedding, I wanted something that stood out. ?We actually kept joking saying ?shall we have dominoes?? but as it got closer and we didn?t have any food plans we started seriously considering it and I emailed Dominos asking the question.?
    What started as a joke ended up a delicious reality (Picture: Charlotte Schooley / SWNS)

    It went down a storm in the end, with Victoria saying that any naysayers had their doubt quickly withdrawn when the smell of fresh pizza and garlic bread filled their wedding venue.

    The bride said that people turned to praising the couple throughout the day for their unique decision and there wasn’t a displeased guest in sight.

    ‘I was surprised at the amount they delivered, I thought “we’re going to have to take this home and have it for a couple of weeks”,’ she said.

    ‘We would have ended up having to bin it which would have been devastating for me.

    ‘I would normally order it at least once a week and I definitely won’t be for a little bit. I don’t want to see anymore pizzas for a while.’

    MORE: Newlyweds create amazing monster house ready for Halloween

    MORE: Vegetarian of a decade becomes butcher after eating a beef burger


    PRI_94117702PRI_94117702

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    The sofa turning green
    The sofa turned green (Picture: SWNS)

    A couple who spent more than £1,500 on a new sofa were rather confused when it began to change colour.

    David and Alison Parsons bought the charcoal grey corner sofa from Harveys back in September 2017, taking out a four-year payment plan.

    At first, they loved it, and placed it away from the window to protect the fabric.

    However, less than two years later, the grey sofa is now turning green.

    Outraged Alison, 54, says that visitors cannot believe the settee was once grey.

    Alison said: ‘I was starting to notice bits of green on the sofa.

    ‘I thought I was imagining it and dismissed it.

    David and Alison
    David and Alison aren’t happy (Picture: George Munro /SWNS.COM)

    ‘But over time it got worse and worse – other people have started to notice it now too.

    ‘People are starting to doubt it ever was grey.

    ‘A sofa is a big investment and you buy it for it to look nice and enjoy it, not hide it away, which is what we want to do.’

    The couple complained to Harveys, which advised them to get a report from a technician and go from there.

    Harveys has said it can take no further action on the dispute, but the couple is hoping the sofa can be removed and the money refunded.

    David, 50, said: ‘We went through all the correct channels and contacted a technician from a company recommended by Harveys.

    ‘The original report noted sunlight damage as the cause but the sofa is a good bit away from the window and parts of the couch that aren’t even in sunlight have turned green too.

    ‘We challenged it and were then told it was due to the chemicals used on the sofa.

    The ruined sofa
    They won’t be getting a refund (Picture: George Munro /SWNS.COM)

    ‘But the only ones used were those provided by Harveys at the time of purchase.

    ‘Harveys then told us there was nothing they could do, despite us having a protection plan.

    ‘It doesn’t cover it and so we were basically advised to contact trading standards.

    ‘We are so disappointed.

    ‘I feel like we have just been fobbed off.

    ‘Both myself and Alison work in retail and if we were to treat customers like this the businesses wouldn’t last.’

    Alison said: ‘We are still paying the sofa off.

    ‘You expect it to last at least as long as it takes to pay it off.’

    David added: ‘We believe it is a fault with the material but they said there is nothing they can do.

    ‘The care package we got is worthless and we are just disappointed, to get fobbed off the way we have been is shocking.

    ‘We have had no apology and will never shop at Harveys again.’

    A spokesman for Harveys said: ‘Mr Parsons received his sofa delivery on November 2017 and contacted us on 26 September 2019 regarding a change in its colour.

    ‘We advised Mr Parsons that under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, as he contacted us more than six months following his purchase, any inspections need to be arranged by him independently.

    ‘The report went ahead and was shared back with us, confirming that no manufacturing fault was found with the sofa and that the colour change was due to the sofa being exposed to direct sunlight.

    ‘At point of sale, all customers are also provided with a customer charter leaflet, which states that customers should not place furniture in direct sunlight.

    ‘The leaflet is attached, and quotes, on page 5, “avoid placing your furniture in direct sunlight or subjecting it to extreme temperature or humidity changes”.

    ‘All of these can cause materials to fade, shrink, crack or warp.’

    ‘Therefore, we are unable to take further action on this matter.’

    MORE: Cat instantly regrets sniffing owner’s feet

    MORE: 107-year-old woman says the secret to a long life is staying single


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    Rufus the Welshie and Lily the Dachshund dressed up for Halloween
    Rufus the Welshie and Lily the Dachshund (Pictures: @Rufus_Welshie/@dogdaysdublin)

    If you’re sick of Halloween by this point in the day, let us resurrect your love for the spookiest day of the year.

    Because if terrible Twitter names and scooping out pumpkin guts haven’t got you in the spirit, this is the only thing that can – dogs in Halloween costumes.

    Yes, whether it’s a pug or poodle, every canine can have a costume.

    Some people dress their pets in costumes they buy online and others have got a little more creative with the dressing up.

    From the basic dog wearing your old devil horns to elaborately created handmade tutus, we love them all

    Let’s take a look at some of the best costumes from dogs on social media this year.

    To kick us off, Rufus, who belongs to Metro.co.uk’s social media editor Jay

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4Rm5U7Ancn/

    Lily the Dachshund makes the perfect pumpkin

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4SYzpkHKKg/

    Mabel and Moose have gone for a couple costume with a Peter Pan theme

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RmfQvF6Jv/

    Who wouldn’t want to be saved by Isla?

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RiTD4HyQT/

    The Dog who Lived

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B4HmXSYBZpr/

    Somehow the basic sheet over the head is more effective with puppy dog eyes underneath

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BppAh7aB6dN/

    A hot dog

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpm4nq1j8tr/

    Forget matching with your partner, we stan a matching pet and owner

    Give me s’more

    True angels

    Has your dog been dressing up this Halloween? Tweet us @MetroUK and show us their costume.

    MORE: Newlyweds create amazing monster house ready for Halloween

    MORE: Couple furious after grey sofa turns green – and they’ve been refused a refund


    PRC_94166457PRC_94166457

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    The Harry Potter house
    The house is apparently haunted (Picture: Mediadrumimages/TonyRanzetta/Car)

    Harry Potter fans, rejoice: You can now stay in Harry Potter’s haunted childhood home for just £110 a night.

    The De Vere House was featured in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part One, when Lord Voldemort stopped at the Godric’s Holliw residence, murdering Harry’s parents and giving him his lightning bolt scar.

    The real-life 14th century home, based in Lavenham, Suffolk – reputedly Britain’s finest medieval village – is actually owned by Jane and Tony Ranzetta, who have lived there for over 20 years.

    The property has been turned into a stunning guesthouse – but it’s home to guests beyond the grave, too.

    Inside the house
    It was featured in a Harry Potter film (Picture: Mediadrumimages/TonyRanzetta/Car)

    Tony said: ‘J.K. Rowling was well acquainted with the village and we know her friend stayed here whilst she was in the process of writing the books, it was surely in her mind when she created Godric’s Hollow.

    ‘The house is often referred to as “The Harry Potter House” by locals and in the media, and a huge picture of our front door can be seen at the Warner Bros’ exhibition on the making of Harry Potter.

    ‘The whole story is quite peculiar really. Just after we first moved into the house, Jane saw a uniquely dressed man walk through the kitchen wall and into the garden beyond.

    The dining room
    You can stay in it for £110 a night (Picture: Mediadrumimages/TonyRanzetta/Car)

    ‘She was obviously taken aback but understands that a house with this much history must surely hold echoes of the past.’

    The De Vere property, which is currently on the market with estate agent Carter Jonas for £950,000, is apparently home to a poltergeist named Becky, who according to Tony ‘needs to be treated like a child’.

    He said: ‘She’s taken wedding rings and other keepsakes before now – but she’ll usually return them if we ask her nicely.

    A period feature
    it has lots of period features (Picture: Mediadrumimages/TonyRanzetta/Car)

    ‘She has to be treated like a child. We’re quite lucky, usually poltergeists are malign, but Becky doesn’t seem to be.

    ‘Usually somebody becomes a poltergeist if they’ve been subject of a witch’s curse or similar, so we think Becky was probably thrust upon a former homeowner and now just hangs around, shutting doors and turning the TV and radio on and off, just being mischievous rather than dangerous.’

    The house features two four poster bedrooms with en suit bathrooms, TV, wifi access, a private guest sitting room with a log fire and a courtyard garden.

    The bedroom
    You get breakfast with your stay (Picture: Mediadrumimages/TonyRanzetta/Car)

    Included in your stay is also a full English breakfast, served in the dining room of the main house.

    Unfortunately, the house is not suitable for pets or children – apart from Becky, of course.

    However, Tony says the house is ‘wonderful’, especially due to its period features such as paintings and a rare stone spiral staircase with a carved brick handrail.

    The house is also super famous, with approximately 5,000 people coming to photograph the home every weekend when Harry Potter was at the peak of its popularity.

    MORE: Couple ditch traditional wedding caterers and instead opt for £350 worth of Domino’s pizzas

    MORE: Newlyweds create amazing monster house ready for Halloween


    Harry Potter's Haunted HouseHarry Potter's Haunted House

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    Claire after her surgery
    Claire’s ‘baby brain’ was actually a tumour (Picture: SWNS)

    A new mum who put her headaches and tiredness down to ‘baby brain’ was devastated to discover she actually had an incurable brain tumour.

    Claire Curtis, 30, had been experiencing headaches and feeling tired for months before her diagnosis, but just put it down to the stress of being a new mum.

    Doctors prescribed her medication for migraines, but when Claire started vomiting in the early hours of the morning, she knew it was something more sinister.

    An MRI scan revealed that Claire had an incurable brain tumour the size of an orange. She is now battling the cancer to get more time with her family.

    Claire said: ‘I was getting bad headaches in the front part of my head, but I put it down to being exhausted as a new mum.

    ‘I just felt really drained and thought it was because I’d just given birth to Charlie, so I took myself for naps when I could and tried to get on with it.

    ‘Doctors thought it was migraines at first and gave me co-codamol, but it didn’t seem to work, and then I started waking up in the early hours to be sick.

    ‘I was repeatedly going back to the doctors begging for help because I knew something was wrong, but nothing prepared me for the diagnosis of cancer.

    Claire with her children
    She has two young children (Picture: Claire Curtis /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I’m going through chemotherapy now to buy more time, and although I know my diagnosis is terminal, I’m fighting for every extra minute I can get with my kids.’

    Nursery worker Claire had always wanted to be a mum, and started trying for a baby when she was 25 with her long term partner Tom, 34, who she met in 2007.

    Claire and crazy golf manager Tom welcomed daughter Millie in 2015 and their son Charlie followed in February 2018.

    The family of four were happily settling down in their home in Plymouth, Devon, when Claire started getting headaches in April 2018.

    Blaming the headaches on being tired out with two young children, Claire tried to ignore the pain, taking naps when she could, before eventually going to a doctor who prescribed her co-codamol.

    The pain relief didn’t work, and when Claire started vomiting in the early hours of the morning, she returned to the doctors who gave her anti-sickness tablets.

    After struggling to climb the stairs in June 2018, Claire was desperate for answers and went to the opticians for an eye test.

    She said: ‘I assumed the stress of sleepless nights and caring for two kids was the cause of my headaches, and when I finally went to a doctor, they thought it was either migraines or vertigo.

    ‘I just tried to get on with life as a mum to two young children, but when I started throwing up every morning at 4am, I realised I couldn’t ignore it any more.

    Claire with her family
    Her condition is terminal (Picture: Claire Curtis /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I remember one morning Millie called me from her bedroom, and as I went to climb the stairs, I suddenly felt really dizzy and I couldn’t see properly.

    ‘I told my mum about it and she made me go to the opticians, and when they spotted swelling during the test, they referred me straight away for an emergency MRI.

    ‘It took two weeks for me to actually get an ’emergency’ appointment, and my symptoms had somewhat subsided by the time I got to the hospital.

    ‘I made the mistake of telling them that was the case, and suddenly my MRI was delayed by another four weeks.’

    In August 2018 Claire was given an MRi scan, and was told she would receive her results in two to three days.

    However, after her doctor went on holiday for a fortnight, she was left without answers.

    It wasn’t until she went to her GP for an unrelated appointment that she saw her scan results with the words ‘brain tumour’ on the doctor’s screen.

    Claire said: ‘Waiting for the results was absolutely horrific and sent my stress levels through the roof.

    ‘Obviously I was desperate for my results, and when I heard my doctor had gone on holiday, I thought I’d ask my GP about my results in an upcoming appointment I had booked.

    ‘My GP told me he could tell me right there and then what the results were, but as he was reading them, he suddenly stopped and told me that he wasn’t qualified to go through my results with me and I’d have to ring the hospital.

    ‘He quickly grabbed his computer screen to turn it away from me, but he wasn’t fast enough and I glimpsed the words ‘brain tumour’.

    Claire in hospital
    She is currently having treatment (Picture: Claire Curtis /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I rang the hospital the next day, and the receptionist said she could tell me the results before having the same reaction – she stopped reading and told me the doctor would have to ring me to discuss them.

    ‘I sat on my kitchen floor absolutely beside myself with worry for about an hour before the doctor rang me and told me that he didn’t want to discuss the results over the phone so I needed to come in to the hospital.

    ‘By the time I actually got to the hospital to hear my results, I was a total nervous mess – I knew it was bad news, I just needed answers now.

    ‘Hearing the doctor say it was a brain tumour absolutely stunned me, and I was in too much shock to really show any emotion there and then.

    ‘It wasn’t until a few days later that it really sunk in and I just couldn’t stop crying at the thought of dying and leaving my kids behind.’

    On 2 October 2018, Claire had an awake craniotomy – an operation to remove tumours, where the patient is awake throughout the procedure.

    Doctors put Claire to sleep in order to drill open her skull and then woke her up whilst her brain was exposed to ask her questions as they removed the tumour.

    Claire’s surgeon told her that the tumour didn’t look cancerous, but three days after surgery, Claire was diagnosed with a Grade 3 malignant brain tumour.

    The cells of Claire’s type of cancerous tumour are fast growing and divide rapidly, often recurring after treatment in a more advanced form.

    Following surgery, Claire underwent radiotherapy for six and a half weeks before starting a year of chemotherapy to give her more time with her family.

    Claire said: ‘The doctors told me that the type of tumour I have gives patients on average a three to five year prognosis.

    ‘Hearing that really made me feel sick, thinking I may not be here in 3 years time, but the doctors reassured me that I am young and healthy so I should survive longer.

    Claire is losing her hair
    She is losing her hair due to the treatment (Picture: Claire Curtis /SWNS.COM)

    ‘Finding out my cancer was incurable was so hard, I couldn’t bear the thought of dying and leaving my children without their mum.

    ‘It’s not a case of IF the tumour will come back, it’s just a matter of WHEN will it come back, which is the hardest thing.

    ‘I’m currently going through chemotherapy, and my four year old daughter Millie asked me why my hair was falling out.

    ‘I just told her that Mummy had something bad in her head and she kind of accepted that – she’s too young to fully understand it all really.’

    Claire’s diagnosis has only brought her family closer, and the brave mum was over the moon when Tom proposed on Christmas Day 2018.

    The couple have set a date for their wedding on 20 July 2020, and Claire has already bought a beautiful dress for their special day.

    Making the most of every moment together, the family also went to Disneyland Paris in May 2019 for a holiday of treasured memories.

    Claire said: ‘Some people die in the five years after doctors discover the tumour, but others can live a lot longer after diagnosis.

    ‘I’m young and I’ve always been healthy so hopefully I’ll have another 40-50 years, we just don’t know.

    ‘Doctors are monitoring my brain every three months with MRI scans so it’s just a waiting game now on when it’ll come back.

    ‘Right now, I’m just focusing on making memories with my family – we went to Disneyland Paris earlier this year which was amazing.

    ‘Tom has been so supportive throughout all of this, making time for me and the kids as well as working full time, and I can’t wait to marry him next year.

    ‘I just want to spend every day doing something with Tom and our children.

    ‘I want to treat them to really great things and go on lots of holidays, which has been hard with only one wage coming in as I have had to take time off whilst battling cancer.

    ‘I’m going back to work at the nursery soon as I loved it and we need the money, but will only be working 3 days a week as I want to spend as much time as I can with the kids.

    ‘We haven’t really thought about what to tell the children at this stage about what’s happening with me, we’re just focusing on enjoying every day together.

    ‘I never expected this to happen to me as I’ve always been healthy, I’m never ill and don’t ever call in sick to work – I just felt drained and put it down to having Charlie.

    ‘My diagnosis has showed me that every moment is precious, my kids and family mean the world to me and I just want them to be happy and to make as many memories as I can.’

    MORE: The cutest dog Halloween costumes this year

    MORE: Couple furious after grey sofa turns green – and they’ve been refused a refund


    Mum's baby brain was actually a brain tumourMum's baby brain was actually a brain tumour

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    Flying cash
    Let’s talk about debt (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Debt. It’s a scary word packed with all sorts of cultural shame, embarrassment, and confusion.

    Debt is widespread and can creep into every part of our lives, causing us constant worry, sparking mental health issues, breaking up relationships, and preventing us from making plans for the future.

    But all the emotions around it mean that even when people are in an absolute crisis, they’re still reluctant to ask for help – whether that’s due to fear of the situation being worse than it seems or the horror of having to admit that your money situation isn’t so peachy.

    We don’t receive financial education in schools, so it’s not surprising that many of us feel clueless when it comes to handling our money, and yet it feels embarrassing to admit you don’t really get what an ISA is and how much debt is ‘normal’.

    That’s why here on Metro.co.uk, we’re declaring November as Debt Month.

    Over the month ahead we’re going to be publishing all sorts of content around the topic of debt, from simple explainers to improve our financial literacy to features exploring our culture of debt and first-person pieces from people opening up about how they got into large amounts of debt.

    You can expect to see expert advice and easy-to-understand breakdowns of the basics of debt alongside deepdives into the lives of debt influencers and super savers sharing how they escaped the debt cycle.

    Debt Month tag illo
    Millions of us are in debt – why aren’t we talking about it? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro. co.uk)

    We want to open up the conversation around debt and get everyone feeling a little more comfortable talking about their money – and asking for help when they need it.

    8.3 million people in the UK are unable to pay off debts or household bills, according to a report from the National Audit Office in 2018, and a lot of those people are millennials still in the early stages of their careers.

    Young people are struggling to save (research from LV found that 55% of millennials fall short of the Money Advice Service’s recommended savings amount of 90 days’ worth of outgoings), terrified of debt, and all too often silently stuck in damaging patterns of living month to month, unable to save because they’re held back by masses of debt – whether that’s student debt, authorised overdrafts, expensive deposits on rented properties, or short-term high-interest loans.

    Money Advice Trust’s survey of 2,042 18 to 24-year-olds found that 37% are already in debt, owing an average of £2,989 excluding student loans and mortgages.51% of under 25s report they regularly worry about money and 21% are losing sleep as a result.

    Millennials have even been described as generation debt, which isn’t exactly a label we’re keen on.

    So the situation is serious and it’s causing us a load of stress. Let’s confront the problem head on and get all our misunderstandings about debt sorted in preparation for the new year ahead.

    Check back on the lifestyle page or head straight to our Debt Month tag each day to learn and chat about all things debt. It’s not as scary as it sounds, promise.

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

     

     


    A hand holding some coinsA hand holding some coins

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    Illustration of a man sitting by himself
    Are you concerned about your student loan repayments? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    If the looming worry of your student loan debt keeps you up at night, you’re not alone.

    The majority of people with a degree see their debt as an inescapable financial burden that negatively affects their everyday life, according to a study of 1,000 undergraduate and 1,000 postgraduate degree holders conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Splash Financial.

    89% of those surveyed see their debt as a financial burden (oh hey, other 11%. Do you have a load of spare cash handy?) and many people are making sacrifices to soothe the stress of owing so much.

    Some of those sacrifices include skipping socialising to save money, picking up side hustles, intense budget plans, skipping loved ones’ life events such as weddings or births to avoid travel costs, and taking a job they absolutely hate.

    82% said their debt is affecting major life decisions.

    And of course, that mass of debt doesn’t bode well for young people’s prospects of doing all those markers of adulthood – 43% of graduates with student loans called buying a house a financial impossibility and 43% said their loans meant they couldn’t save for retirement.

    Graduates are willing to take drastic steps if they could erase their student loan debts entirely, including taking no time off work for a year, reliving secondary school, shaving their head, and spending a week in jail.

    And as you’ve probably gathered, all that debt is having an impact on graduates’ mental wellbeing, as ‘frustrated’ and ‘worried’ were the top words used to describe feelings about student loan debt.

    ‘These survey findings support the fact that the burden of student loans negatively impacts a person’s financial well-being and it often seems inescapable,’ said the CEO of Splash Financial. ‘From grocery shopping to relationship building, it is shaping everyday life. If we’re not careful, it could have massive cultural implications.’

    Things graduates say are financial impossibilities due to student loans:

    • Buying a house 43%
    • Saving for retirement 43%
    • Moving to a new city 42%
    • Getting a new place to live 39%
    • Taking a vacation 39%
    • Buying life insurance 36%
    • Marriage 35%
    • Children 35%
    • Moving out of parents’ house 29%

    What graduates would do to erase their student debt:

    • Shave my head 51%
    • Walk to work for a month 49%
    • Never have caffeine again 40%
    • Relive high school over again 40%
    • No time off from work for a year 40%
    • Week in jail 39%

    Top emotions about student debt:

    • Worried/frustrated 47%
    • Overwhelmed 41%
    • Annoyed 40%
    • Confident 39%
    • Indifferent 8%

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

     

    MORE: Why we’re talking about debt this month

    MORE: How I Save: The 24-year-old in Birmingham earning £21,000 a year with £9,450 saved

    MORE: How I Save: The British expat IT sales manager in Dubai with £314,678 saved


    Hygiene povertyHygiene poverty

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    Nourish Cafe in Chichester is the country?s first food surplus cafe - it is vegan and vegetarian and cooks entirely using fresh food which it has saved from being tossed in the bin. See National News story NNharvest. Food waste could become a thing of the past in Chichester, after eco-friendly locals opened the country?s first food surplus cafe. Nourish Cafe is a vegan and vegetarian cafe that cooks entirely using fresh food which it has saved from being tossed in the bin. The project was started by UKHarvest, a not-for-profit perishable food rescue operation, which collects excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it to charities, free of charge. Since getting started in March 2017, the group has grown to deliver 27,500 meals each week - saving over 705 tonnes of good food from going to landfill.
    Nourish Cafe in Chichester is the country’s first food surplus cafe – it is vegan and vegetarian and cooks entirely using fresh food which it has saved from being tossed in the bin (Picture: UKHarvest /SWNS.COM)

    Going out for a meal is tricky when you’re dedicated to fighting food waste.

    At home you know that every part of every grocery item you’ve bought will be put to good use, and you’re in control of what goes on in the kitchen. At a restaurant it’s still not widely accepted to ask how much food ends up in the bin.

    Restaurants that promise to be waste-free could be the way forward. Just look at Nourish Cafe, in Chichester, West Sussex, for an example.

    Nourish Cafe is a vegan and vegetarian cafe that cooks entirely using fresh food that has been saved from being tossed in the bin.

    The project was started by UKHarvest, a not-for-profit perishable food rescue operation, which collects excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it to charities, free of charge.

    Since getting started in March 2017, the group has grown to deliver 27,500 meals each week – saving over 705 tonnes of good food from going to landfill.

    And now they have opened their first cafe.

    Nourish Cafe in Chichester is the country?s first food surplus cafe - it is vegan and vegetarian and cooks entirely using fresh food which it has saved from being tossed in the bin
    The cafe’s menu changes based on the food staff are able to rescue (Picture: UKHarvest /SWNS.COM)

    The charity rescues around 7.69 tonnes of food per week from supermarkets, cafes and farms, of which 80% is fresh and perishable.

    Stacey Cullen, Director of Operations at UKHarvest, said: ‘We collect the food for free and we deliver it out for free as well.

    ‘We have run community pop-up restaurants in places where there’s a real need – in poorer areas and places where there’s a lot of social isolation and loneliness.

    ‘We had been thinking for a while that we would like to run a cafe, so that we could generate income and then put all that profit back into the charity, so we can deliver more surplus food to people.’

    The menu at Nourish Cafe has to adapt and change depending on what food staff can collect, but offers comfort food such as jacket potatoes with toppings, freshly made soups and a daily guest curry or chilli.

    Nourish Cafe in Chichester is the country?s first food surplus cafe - it is vegan and vegetarian and cooks entirely using fresh food which it has saved from being tossed in the bin. See National News story NNharvest. Food waste could become a thing of the past in Chichester, after eco-friendly locals opened the country?s first food surplus cafe. Nourish Cafe is a vegan and vegetarian cafe that cooks entirely using fresh food which it has saved from being tossed in the bin. The project was started by UKHarvest, a not-for-profit perishable food rescue operation, which collects excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it to charities, free of charge. Since getting started in March 2017, the group has grown to deliver 27,500 meals each week - saving over 705 tonnes of good food from going to landfill.
    And everything is vegan (Picture: Chichester Observer /SWNS.COM)

    The shop offers takeaways as well as dine-in options, and if a customer brings their own container they get 50p off their meal.

    And as we mentioned, all the food is vegan to make it accessible to everyone.

    Stacey said: ‘Most of the food we rescue is short-dated stuff that companies and supermarkets cannot put into their production processes, or that they have over-produced where demand has dropped.

    ‘We also collect food from catering companies and from corporate events when there is food that is still within date but would otherwise end up in landfills if we didn’t collect it.

    ‘The food is often fresher than we get in supermarkets, because we collect a lot directly from farms.

    Nourish Cafe in Chichester is the country?s first food surplus cafe - it is vegan and vegetarian and cooks entirely using fresh food which it has saved from being tossed in the bin
    Can there be more cafes and restaurants like this, please? UKHarvest /SWNS.COM

    ‘It’s all about demand in farms. If stores reject their produce because it’s the wrong size or shape etcetera, then they give it to us.’

    A big part of the group’s motivation in starting the cafe is the deliveries they send out to other charities.

    UKHarvest currently sends free ‘recycled’ meals to over 110 charities which, Stacey says, allows those charities to save money on food and pour more funds into their causes.

    The organisation also educates people about how to reduce food waste and make the most of what they buy on a low budget.

    ‘In West Sussex alone, 60,000 tonnes of food is thrown away in household waste and 40,000 tonnes of that is still edible,’ says Stacey.

    ‘We’re working hard to try and help reduce food waste wherever we can, and at the same time provide food insecure people with good quality fresh produce that they can use to make healthy, nutritious meals.’

    MORE: Brewery creates beer out of leftover bread to tackle food waste

    MORE: A free ‘unashamedly wonky picnic’ is coming to London to highlight food waste


    PRI_94128946PRI_94128946

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    PIC BY CATERS NEWS (PICTURED Eleanor holds up her baby food bellini with her two children Winnie, 5 [right], and Ted, 2 [left] watching on from the bath) You might want to copy this mums brilliant idea for home-made cocktails, mixing alcohol with baby food puree. Eleanor Tracey, 40, an office manager from London, was at her friends house for dinner last week for a mums night, when she came up with the genius hack. The mum- of- two, Winnie, five, and Ted, two, mixed Prosecco with peach baby puree to make some delicious Bellinis- and the other mums loved them. Eleanor said: "I had a very rare night off from mummy/work/wife duty to hang out with some other mum friends and moan about work, kids, lack of sleep, never having any us time and we thought we would use peach pouches to pimp our Prosecco and make some Bellinis. SEE CATERS COPY
    You can use baby food to make a tasty treat (Picture: Caters News Agency)
    If you’ve ever fancied a cocktail and rummaged around your cupboards for makeshift ingredients, you’ll know that drink-related experiments don’t always go so well.

    But this one might be your new go-to.

    Mum-of-two Eleanor Tracey, 40, an office manager from London, has shared her genius hack for an easy bellini.

    Rather than faffing about with buying syrups and purees, Eleanor adds baby food to prosecco to craft a delicious cocktail.

    Yep, baby food. Stay with us, we’re not talking about mashed up carrots.

    Eleanor was at a friend’s house for dinner when she came up with the trick, squeezing some Ella’s peach pouches into glasses of prosecco to make a tasty treat.

    Eleanor said: ‘I had a very rare night off from mummy/work/wife duty to hang out with some other mum friends and moan about work, kids, lack of sleep, never having any us time and we thought we would use Ella’s peach pouches to pimp our Prosecco and make some Bellinis – we have named them Ellinis.

    You might want to copy this mums brilliant idea for home-made cocktails, mixing alcohol with baby food puree
    Just add pureed peaches to a glass of prosecco Picture: Caters News Agency)

    ‘We all thought it was a brilliant and hilarious idea – it turns out we’re not the first people to use these in alcoholic drinks and we certainly not be the last.

    Replicating the drink is as simple as it sounds: Pour a glass of prosecco, squeeze in some Ella’s Kitchen peaches – which are just pureed peach and a dash of lemon juice – and you’re done.

    Since then Eleanor has also made strawberry vodka cocktail using the strawberry pouch puree, vodka, tonic water, sugar syrup and mint and is planning to try pear martinis on the next mums night.

    Eleanor with her two children Winnie, 5, and Ted, 2
    Eleanor with her two children Winnie, five, and Ted, two

    She added: ‘I am always up for finding more cost effective and time saving tips and tricks to help make being a working mum easier so I can spend more time with my kids.

    ‘Shopping to a menu saves money, doing a food menu means the husband can start cooking if he gets home there is no excuse he doesn’t know what’s for dinner, batch cooking at weekends saves time on a work night, washing up liquid is great for stains pre -wash, always take snacks/picnic saves hanger tantrums and a small fortune on last minute snack shops, put a picnic blanket on the sofa when potty training save any accidents on your expensive sofa.

    ‘The best old wives tale is when your kids have a cough at night chop an onion in half and put it in a bowl under the head end of the child’s bed and this stops them coughing.’

    After the smart idea to use baby food to get tipsy, we’ll do whatever Eleanor says.

    MORE: Vegan cafe only serves food that was about to go in the bin

    MORE: Why we’re talking about debt this month


    Baby food bellinisBaby food bellinis

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    Female hands rolling a marijuana joint
    Doctors themselves have admitted that they have no idea how to go about prescribing cannabis, and that their patients are suffering as a result (Picture: Getty)

    This time last year, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) were given a glimmer of hope when it became legal for doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

    Those hopes have been sorely dashed, as a whole year has passed and we still don’t know of a single person with MS who has benefited.

    MS is relentless, painful and disabling, and evidence shows that cannabis could help around 10,000 people with this condition who experience pain and muscle spasms, and haven’t responded to other treatments.

    Unfortunately, barriers to doctors prescribing the drug mean they must continue to struggle, with no way to manage their symptoms.

    Rhona was diagnosed with MS in 1994. A few years ago, she discovered that infusing cannabis in a daily cup of tea helped ease her symptoms, improving her cognition and muscular control.

    Although cannabis helped her greatly, she hated handing money to a criminal. She also had no guarantee of the strength, purity or quality of what she was buying. Rhona has now lost touch with her drug dealer, and she hasn’t tried to find another source – she doesn’t even know where she’d start.

    When the law changed, she felt so grateful but her excitement quickly turned to disappointment when doctors told her they had no way to prescribe the cannabis.

    People like Rhona are now slaves to their symptoms. Whether it’s not going out as much as she used to or relentless spasms keeping her up all night, Rhona can’t take the pain away.

    Doctors themselves have admitted that they have no idea how to go about prescribing cannabis, and that their patients are suffering as a result.

    ‘The legalisation of medicinal cannabis has so far not allowed me to help any of my MS patients,’ Dr Eli Silber, a consultant neurologist, told the MS Society.

    ‘In fact, the current limitations on prescribing and funding actively discourages clinicians from prescribing cannabis, leaving no flexibility for us to act in the best interest of our patients. There is clearly a significant unmet need among people who have not responded or cannot tolerate to other drugs for pain and spasticity.

    ‘We need to see urgent action so these people can finally access a potentially effective treatment.’

    It’s outrageous that a year after the change in the law, people with MS are still resorting to buying drugs on the black market or funding private prescriptions that are beyond their means.

    Noeline is another person living with MS who has suffered as a result of the inaction.

    Her symptoms make her feel tired and ill constantly. On a good day, she can walk, but after a short distance she’ll need to rest for half an hour before she’s pain-free and can set off again.

    Within 10 minutes, the pain will return.

    She gets cramps and muscle spasms, which prevent her from sleeping, and the pain can be unbearable. Noeline had been taking Sativex, a cannabis-based spray licensed to treat spasticity in MS, but the drug isn’t routinely available on the NHS in England due to cost, so her only other option was to pay for a private prescription.

    Sativex took away her pain and meant she could get a full night’s sleep, but at a cost of £450 for three months’ worth, she was only able to take it for a total of nine months.

    As much as she’s been tempted, Noeline hasn’t sought out cannabis illegally. She fears the consequences of being caught – she’s never broken the law, and doesn’t want to become a criminal just from attempting to find some relief.

    When she asked her neurologist if she could get cannabis on the NHS, he laughed and said it was all a farce. He wouldn’t be able to prescribe it for a good few years yet because of all the red tape.

    The change in the law has failed Rhona, Noeline and thousands of others still living in pain.

    Like Dr Silber says, clinicians are actively being discouraged from prescribing cannabis, and we’re in a ridiculous situation where Sativex has been deemed safe and effective, but it can’t be made widely available because of its cost.

    For more than two years, we campaigned for the Government to make medicinal cannabis available to people with MS.

    It’s outrageous that a year after the change in the law, people with MS are still resorting to buying drugs on the black market or funding private prescriptions that are beyond their means.

    The legalisation of medical cannabis was a critical milestone, but it’s clear that there’s still a long way to go before cannabis on the NHS is a reality.

    Until the Government takes concrete action to improve access to medicinal cannabis, this law change will have been nothing but a publicity stunt.

    MORE: Medicinal cannabis legalisation should have been the end of my pain but nothing has changed

    MORE: Let’s celebrate 420 by legalising cannabis

    MORE: Cannabis could be legal in the UK within five years


    Female hands rolling a marijuana jointFemale hands rolling a marijuana joint

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    Illustration of someone holding a credit card over a card reader
    The more I put on credit, the more the companies upped my spending limit (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Money and I have always had a love/hate relationship. Throughout my 20s and 30s I would spend everything I had, not worrying about saving for the future. I got into a bit of debt here and there, but not more than I was earning and I always had enough to make the payments.

    As a self-employed writer, my irregular income made budgeting difficult but for years I made it work – just.

    It only became an issue in 2018. I lost a big work contract and my income disappeared overnight. I struggled to find other gigs so I turned to credit cards to pay for bills and everyday expenses like prescriptions and food.

    I knew it wasn’t ideal but I didn’t have any other option and figured I would get more work and be able to pay it off.

    The more I put on credit, the more the companies upped my spending limit. I was surprised as I was only paying off the minimum each month but now I realise that’s how the spiral of debt begins.

    I managed the debt OK at first, moving it from one card to another to take advantage of 0 per cent interest offers. Then I started to ignore it.

    By the end of the year I owed £32,000 over four cards and had a £2,000 overdraft.

    At Christmas my dog, Sydney, became ill, developing a serious limp. Vet X-rays alone were £600 and she also needed an MRI at £3,000. I couldn’t afford it but she was my family – I had to try.

    My friends suggested a Crowdfunding page and while I didn’t want to beg, I did it. It raised just over £1,000 – not enough for the MRI but it covered X-rays and Sydney’s medication for a few months.

    I met so many other people on the streets who were there because of job losses, relationship break ups, losing their benefits or making a couple of bad decisions.

    Incredibly 10 months later she is still here but finding £100 each month for her medical bills is a great source of stress. Money from the odd bar shift and occasional writing jobs just about covers it.

    By April this year I was still struggling, so I rented out my house and moved into a van for six months. I made the most of motor-home life – I was warm and dry – but the rent money gave me just £350 each month to live on.

    On several occasions I have had less than £5 in my pocket after paying my mortgage, Sydney’s drugs, food and fuel.

    One day, I had only £3.30 to my name. I had to decide whether to spend that on food or fuel in the hope I could make it to the food bank and hope that I could somehow come up with more money.

    I have struggled with depression and feelings of despair. I am now in £37,000 worth of debt and even with full time work, it will take me decades to pay off what I owe.

    I wouldn’t have got through this without the help and support of my friends who have fed me, lent me money and given me emotional support. Having Sydney by my side has been invaluable – no matter how down I have been, she has always managed to cheer me up.

    My experience has shown me just how easy it is to get into huge amounts of debt. It’s so convenient to pay for things on a card but before long, thousands can soon be frittered away and it’s only when you calculate the repayments you realise it will take 20 times longer to pay it back.

    It’s very easy to risk, and lose, everything you have worked so hard for.

    I wish I had taken the bull by the horns sooner rather than waiting until I was over £30,000 in debt. But when you are in crisis, it can be incredibly difficult to think clearly or see any sort of solution.

    While living in the van I met so many other people on the streets who were there because of job losses, relationship break ups, losing their benefits or making a couple of bad decisions. It made me realise that homelessness is a very real threat for a lot of people.

    I have closed down my usual bank account and opened a basic one with no overdraft so I cannot get in debt again. I finally confronted all of my creditors, explaining the situation – most have been good and some have even shown kindness and empathy.

    Some passed my case on to debt agencies that sent aggressive letters that have stressed me out further. I have called many of them in tears, as paying even a few pounds meant I could not afford to eat.

    I am now paying £1 per month to each of my creditors and have decided to sell my house. I was planning to have it as my pension but the stress of being in debt has been too much.

    When it’s sold I hope I can start again, without the black umbrella of debt hanging over my head. I am hoping to be able to afford a small place, without paying the bank hundreds of pounds of interest every month so I can enjoy life. The one thing I know for sure? I will never use credit again.

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

     

    MORE: Terminally ill man’s benefits stopped after he used pension to pay off debts

    MORE: No-deal Brexit would rocket government debt to 50-year high

    MORE: Mentally ill people are struggling with debt


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    Bury St Edmunds Main Pic - St Edmundsbury Cathedral from the Abbey Gardens (Picture - Yvette Caster) -7f12
    (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    Bury St Edmunds made international news recently as the place Channing Tatum and Jessie J are settling down.

    Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn are also fans, with a Tudor mansion in a nearby village, while celebrities including Angelina Jolie have stayed at The Angel Hotel in the town.

    If the leafy Suffolk market town’s good enough for Magic Mike and the like then it’s certainly good enough for us.

    Here’s why you should pay it a visit and what to do when you go there.

    The food and drink

    One surprising highlight of my trip was trying the Taste of East Anglia menu at The Northgate.

    It was an intricate introduction to regional delicacies and featured a stunning Suffolk Peer potato and cep terrine, fresh local trout, succulent lamb and Suffolk pinks – super-sweet buttermilk and elderberry macarons.

    The food - Potato and cep terrine at The Northgate (Picture - Yvette Caster)-2d65
    The potato and cep terrine at The Northgate (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)
    The food - Suffolk Pinks aka buttermilk and preserved elderberry macarons at The Northgate
    Delicious Suffolk Pinks – buttermilk and preserved elderberry macarons (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    The menu costs from £45 each – great value for a gastronomic tour of the area.

    Pea Porridge, which serves Mediterranean-influenced food, also came highly recommended.

    The dining quarter of the Arc Shopping Centre includes chains such as Carluccio’s. Their caprese salad was fresh and colourful.

    The Angel Hotel serves up pretty cocktails in a gorgeous, creeper-bedecked Georgian building.

    It’s worth visiting The Nutshell pub so you can say you’ve seen the smallest pub in Britain, although the taxidermied animals on the wall may not be for everyone.

    the nutshell pub is the smallest in the UK
    The Nutshell is the smallest pub in Britain (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    The history

    Bury’s claims to fame include being home to the Pillar of Salt – the first internally illuminated road sign in the UK.

    The sign, which looks like a salt cellar and was built in 1935, stands between the Abbey Gate and the Angel Hotel.

    abbey gate and st Edmundscbury cathedral
    Make sure to visit The Abbey Gate and St Edmundsbury Catherdral (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    The Abbey Gardens are an ideal place to wander on a sunny day – they contain many beautiful beds, individual walled gardens and the ruins of the Abbey of St Edmund, consecrated in 1095.
    From the gardens you’ll get beautiful views of St Edmundsbury Cathedral and its striking Millennium Tower, made of local limestone, lime mortar flint and bricks and completed in 2005.

    The history - The Pillar of Salt (Picture - Yvette Caster)-bccb
    The Pillar of Salt (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    The Cathedral is worth a visit for its gorgeous stained glass windows, ornate vaulted ceiling and a brilliant Lego installation – the building recreated in brick form.

    Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides can provide an extensive history of the town, from its Anglo-Saxon beginnings and the role of martyred King Edmund to the part it played in the Magna Carta and how it became a popular Georgian resort, later hosting everyone from Dickens to Wilde. Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides’ 90-minute walking tour costs £6.

    The entertainment

    The Apex hosts comedy nights and live music, with Ed Byrne and Shaun Ryder among the acts set to perform there soon. There’s a free art gallery upstairs and a welcoming café downstairs – I can highly recommend the enormous homemade scones.

    The Apex in Bury St Edmunds
    The Apex hosts comedy and live music (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is unmissable, whether you go to a show or take a tour. Built in 1819 it’s the last Regency Theatre in Britain and amazingly has many of its original features intact.

    Tours cost £7.50 while upcoming shows include Austentatious and Jane Eyre.

    The markets

    An historic part of Bury’s fabric, the main market dates back to before the time of William the Conqueror.

    Held in the Buttermarket and Cornhill every Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can pick up everything from locally-made food and drink to jewellery and pottery.

    On the second Sunday of the month there’s also a farmers market in The Traverse.

    The town is gearing up for its annual Christmas Fayre, from November 21-24, a popular seasonal staple featuring more than 300 stalls. (https://www.burystedmundschristmasfayre.co.uk/)

    The chance to unwind

    From country walks to spa treats, there are plenty of options for those looking to take things easy.

    As well as the Abbey Gardens, Nowton Park is a pleasant place to stroll, with its woodlands, wildflower meadows and arboretum.

    Fullers Mill Garden and Lackford Lakes will also appeal to nature-lovers.

    The abbey gardens in bury st edmunds
    Have a wander around the Abbey gardens (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    The peaceful parkland and manicured gardens of Ickworth House are well worth exploring.

    Just down the road from here is Bannatyne’s Bury St Edmunds an attractive neo-Jacobean mansion housing a health club, decent-sized pool, treatment rooms, relaxation rooms and restaurant.

    The restaurant menu is wonderfully indulgent and includes cocktails as well as an imaginative vegan menu. Their fishless fish (deep fried artichoke in tempura batter) with hand-cut chips and crushed peas was delicious and filling.

    Where to stay

    I stayed at The Ickworth Hotel and Bury St Edmunds Travelodge.

    The Ickworth is a stunning country house set in 1,800 acres of parkland and part of the Ickworth Estate.

    the ickworth hotel in bury st edmunds
    I stayed in The Ickworth (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    Fans of 90s trivia may delight in the knowledge ‘It girl’ Lady Victoria Hervey lived in Ickworth House.

    You’d be daft not to visit the National Trust-owned property, with its 100-foot-high rotunda and Italianate gardens designed by Capability Brown.

    The hotel includes a welcoming spa using Elemis products, a sunny conservatory in which to eat breakfast, grand restaurant Frederick’s and beautifully cosy rooms.

    I loved the thoughtful touches here, from being able to borrow DVDs from reception to the free National Trust tickets to the neighboring house.

    the ickworth estate
    The grounds are gorgeous (Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro.co.uk)

    The Ickworth is currently offering a midweek, two-night stay for two adults which includes breakfast and dinner both days from £329.

    Bury St Edmunds Travelodge opened this year and was an easy walk into the town centre.

    With everything still shiny and new this made for a very pleasant stay, as did the extensive cooked buffet breakfast.

    Rooms feature comfy beds and calming blue décor, costing from £29 per night.

    Travelodge also recently announced a festive offer across its 568 UK hotels – 500,000 rooms for £29 between November 1 and January 15 2020.

    How to get there

    From London by train you can travel from Kings Cross via Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds. The journey takes 1hr 45 minutes.

    Alternatively you can travel from Liverpool Street via Ipswich. The journey takes between 1hr 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the service.

    If driving from central London, the journey takes 1 hr 45 minutes via the M11.

    MORE: How to spend a weekend break in Lake Como

    MORE: Eating, bathing and stroking cats: How bustling Istanbul can be the most relaxing weekend break


    Bury St Edmunds Main Pic - St Edmundsbury Cathedral from the Abbey Gardens (Picture - Yvette Caster) -7f12Bury St Edmunds Main Pic - St Edmundsbury Cathedral from the Abbey Gardens (Picture - Yvette Caster) -7f12

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    Primark festive animal jumpers
    Feast your eyes on these (Picture: Primark)

    It’s officially November which means the shops are now bursting with Christmas goodies – including a variety of festive jumpers.

    High street favourite Primark always delivers when it comes to yuletide treats and this year is no different, as the retailer has launched a new range of adorable Christmas woolies.

    The new collection is animal-heavy, with a plethora of different creatures splayed across the front of the knitted pieces.

    There’s something for everyone too, as traditional thick knits, lighter jumpers and sweatshirts all make up the new range.

    With it being Primark, the festive jumpers are also bank balance-friendly. The cheapest comes in at just £5 and the most expensive is £12.

    Primark's festive pug jumper
    Santa paws… (Picture: Primark)
    Primark's festive cat jumper
    … and Santa claws (Picture: Primark)

    Standout garments include a red jumper featuring a pug in a Santa hat, as well as a knitted number with a cat singing Christmas carols from a songbook.

    Another has a hanging sloth on the front, with the words ‘snow day, lazy day’.

    Primark's sloth jumper
    Even a sloth makes an appearance (Picture: Primark)

    Primark's penguin jumper
    Mistletoe kisses (Picture: Primark)
    Primark polar bear jumper
    Get matching jumpers for you and your mum (Picture: Primark)

    A selection of typically-festive animals get their own garments too. Two penguins can be found having a smooch on one piece, while a mother and baby polar bear snuggle together on cosy-looking grey sweater.

    Traditionalists will also find a selection of classic jumpers with alpine and patterned prints.

    Primark alpine jumper
    Or go for something a little more classic (Picture: Primark)

    The adorable collection delighted shoppers on social media, with many praising the variety and inventiveness of the Christmas range.

    One ecstatic user tweeted: ‘@Primark is winning the awesomeness game this year with all the Christmas jumpers/t-shirts.’

    While another simply said: ‘I love them all.’

    Primark’s festive loungewear has also been pleasing shoppers.

    Earlier this week, the retailer launched a collection of festive PJs, offering a set for every family member – including the dog.

    MORE: When does Costa’s Christmas menu launch?

    MORE: Starbucks’ Christmas cups have a release date – and it’s soon

    MORE: Asda has launched an entire sausage dog collection for Christmas


    Primark launches adorable Christmas jumpers featuring pugs, sloths and cats Picture: Primark METROGRABPrimark launches adorable Christmas jumpers featuring pugs, sloths and cats Picture: Primark METROGRAB

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    Illustration of three women working out
    Dating someone who works out a lot (or doesn’t like to work out) doesn’t need to spell the end of a relationship (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Beyond the cute dog photos, the half-naked holiday pics and the flirty smiles, there is one particular aspect that catches our attention when perusing a dating profile: common interests.

    From a shared love of travelling to having boozy brunches on Sundays, we are often drawn to people who like the same things that we do – but what happens if we date someone who is the complete opposite of us?

    One area that seems to divide people more than others is fitness, or specifically when two people have different attitudes towards working out.

    Perhaps your other half goes to the gym every day, is part of a local sports team or just generally likes to be very active, while your idea of working out is going for a walk every couple of days.

    Before we continue, note that there is no intention to shame either party; not lifting weights before work at 5am does not make you a lesser person – nor does the opposite. However, not sharing this particular passion could potentially have a detrimental effect on your relationship.

    For instance, if your partner’s gym schedule is quite rigid and they are unwilling to compromise, it could cut into the time you have together or the lack of interest in each other’s private lives might cause you to drift apart.

    Some people also experience body insecurities – though this doesn’t apply to everyone.

    ‘My partner is a runner,’ Rachel, 46, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘All of his friends are also runners. He helps organise our local park run and he runs for fun, often at weekends.

    ‘I am a size 20 food lover who is fairly fit (I have two dogs that I have to walk every day), but definitely not an athlete, and I am not part of that mindset or “clique”.’

    Not sharing a love of running hasn’t impacted their relationship negatively, but it has affected how Rachel feels about herself at times.

    She says: ‘He’s always been a runner so it’s not like I have had to adjust, just accept that sometimes (especially at weekends) his running friends – many of which are female – see him more at the weekend than I do.

    ‘I frequently have body insecurities over not being a fitness person, but he comes home to me every night! I would love to have a better body but my weight fluctuates and he has a very good appetite, which is fatal for a feeder like me!’

    You do not need to be a copy of the person you’re dating, nor should they expect you to be, but if you are struggling with confidence issues due to your partner being more active than you, there are ways to counter-act these emotions.

    Start by talking to your other half. Sit down in a neutral space (never in bed or when one or both of you are naked) and explain how you’re feeling.

    Share your concerns and listen to theirs, but try not to focus the conversation on ‘weight’, but rather on how you can both improve the dynamic of your relationship.

    ‘If you’re dating someone who works out more than you it’s important to remember – a balanced person is dating you because they’re attracted to as you are,’ Nichi Hodgson, author of The Curious History of Dating, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘All kind of people fancy all kinds of bodies, not just the kind that society presumes they should.

    ‘However, if someone you’re dating encourages you to work out more, you need to assess where that is on the scale of support to boundary push, e.g if you’ve expressed that you’d like to work out more and they invite you to do so with them, that can simply be a sign they’re keen to share their interest with you and support you to look after yourself, not necessarily that they’d like you to lose 10 pounds.’

    Be open to hearing their thoughts, but be cautious, too – they shouldn’t belittle you for being less into fitness.

    ‘However, if their eagerness for you to get your sweat on is expressed in terms of you improving your appearance or a need to “match” with them, you have two choices: hold a really strong boundary and tell them firmly but politely you’ll take care of yourself on your own terms and see how they react (a respectful person will back off) – or stop seeing them.

    ‘Someone trying to mould you can be a sign they don’t respect your autonomy and this can start to play out in other areas of the relationship in due course.’

    A recent study by the dating app, Plenty of Fish, revealed that 33% of singles feel the need to take on interests and hobbies of the person they’re interested in.

    While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being open to new experiences, be careful not to lose your sense of self in someone else’s personality and lifestyle.

    Tom Thurlow, sex and relationships expert and founder of the sex toy brand, Ricky, explains that it’s more important to focus on the positive aspect of having different passions – and finding a way to combine them.

    ‘If you are a gym bunny with a partner adverse to fitness or vice versa, by no means does this have to have a negative impact on how successful your relationship is in the long term,’ he tells us.

    ‘In fact, finding common ground and meeting each other halfway is one of the biggest challenges a relatively new partnership can face, and can ultimately strengthen a union.

    ‘If you or your partner have a particular workout schedule, then attempt to stick to it in a bid to also schedule in quality “couple time”. If you and your partner are able access a “joint calendar” you can each see when the other is busy and then fit in workouts around this.

    ‘Technically, you’re still working out if you’re having regular sex, so that’s a win-win, but having a partner that’s a slave to the gym might become a problem if one of you is suffering emotionally from a lack of quality time together.

    ‘Try swapping a gym session for a romantic walk in the park, it’s still a workout. Or you could even join them; you might even find a new hobby.’

    You could also take turns in planning surprise dates.

    This way, you both get to do the things you love, with the person you love.

    Dating someone who works out a lot (or doesn’t like to work out) doesn’t need to spell the end of a relationship.

    Just be open to compromise and remember that you are more than your muscles – or lack thereof.

    MORE: How to make sure taking a break actually benefits your relationship

    MORE: What is a karmic relationship and how do you know if you’re in one?

    MORE: What is soft-ghosting and is it any better than your standard disappearing act?


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